Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 2, 1572-1582. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1888.
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|71. The Queen's Answer to the French Ambassador.|
|1572, Aug. 22.||First, that the message sent to the Queen's Ambassador resident in France has either been badly reported or wrongly understood, because it does not agree with the report of it made by the King to his Ambassador. Truly it would have been an absurdity if Her Majesty had ordered her Ambassador to say that it was impossible for the marriage to be carried out, and should immediately afterwards have demanded or spoken of an interview. True it is that, by the first letter, she willed her ambassador to say that as to the difference of ages Her Majesty found great difficulty in the marriage, that she could not free her mind from doubts, and could not find any other expedient as a recompense. Such was the sum of the first letter, as might appear by the first copy. The second, which followed immediately afterwards, amounted to this, that the ambassador was instructed to say, Her Majesty perceiving the continual solicitation of the King and Queen Mother in this marriage, and also by further letters delivered by the King's ambassador about the 23rd of June at the house of the Lord Treasurer, thought good, after having written her first letter, to add this to her second, so as to make apparent the consideration she had for the assiduous requests of the said King, to wit, that she found in this matter two principal impediments among others, the one, religion, the other, the difference of age. And as she thought the matter of the religion might be remedied by some conformity on the part of the Duke, so, the other might seem to be a difficulty rather in opinion than in substance. She did also commonly perceive that nothing rules more in marriages, how the one may like the other, as to have their opinions satisfied by the sight of one another, (fn. 1) and especially in this case, where such as have seen the Duke dare not affirm that Her Majesty shall like him or not, although in very many things they do much commend him. Her Majesty also added thereto, to be also declared by her Ambassador, because she thought this a matter somewhat difficult to be granted, although the like had been yielded to her for a person of as great estate as the Duke of Alençon is, that, therefore, she left it to be considered by the said King and Queen; whereof she willed him to say, that she had no meaning to have made any mention thereof, but that she had first seen, by the letters both of the Duke himself and of the Queen Mother to their Ambassador here, the Duke's own private desire to come hither to see and to be seen of Her Majesty. And, in the end, Her Majesty also willed her Ambassador to conclude in this manner, that if it had not been for the desire she has to deal plainly and openly in this matter, and that she was so much provoked by the great goodwill of the said King and Duke, she would not have made any mention hereof; in like manner as she hoped that it should be friendly interpreted, and not to conceive that Her Majesty had any meaning to abuse the said Duke.|
|Howsoever, as to the interview, Her Majesty leaves that to the consideration of the King and the Queen Mother, because it appears to her to be a matter which she dared not desire, for fear of any dissatisfaction which might ensue if these things should not turn out as desired. Especially, as the Queen by her instructions to the said Ambassador in France appeared very much to fear (because the interviews of princes have frequently had a bad issue) some inconvenience might arise to diminish the mutual friendship, which Her Majesty desires rather to be augmented than diminished.|
|Finally, that all the articles as to the marriage of the Duke of Anjou shall remain in their entirety towards the Duke of Alençon (mutatis mutandis), except the interpretation or explanation of the doubts touching the cause of religion, which shall remain to be determined by Her Majesty and the said Duke at their interview.|
|Endorsed by Burghley :—“22 Aug. 1572.—The Queen's Answer to the French Ambassador and la Motte at Kennelworth uppon a mistakyng of a report made by our Ambassador.”|
|[See Burghley's draft of a part of this Answer in State Papers, Foreign, 1572, Vol. 124, No. 265.]|
|French. 2 pp.|